Manipur CM Ibobi Singh meets governor, Congress formally stakes claim to form government

Manipur Chief Minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh today met Governor Najma Heptulla to stake a claim to form the next state government.

The Congress won as many as 28 out of the 60 seats up for grabs in the Manipur Assembly elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came second, winning 21.

The party has also claimed the National People's Party wrote to Governor Heptulla to support its bid to form a government, even though NPP MLAs joined BJP legislators when they paid the Governor a visit earlier in the day.

The letter, signed by the party's National General Secretary Vivekraj Wangkhem and State President Thangminlien Kipgen, says NPP has the "honour" of supporting the largest single party in the Manipur Assembly elections.

NPP's letter of support to form Congress-led government.

BJP'S INFORMAL SHOW OF STRENGTH

Earlier, the BJP met the governor in an informal show of strength and claimed that it will be able to prove a majority in the state. The party's national general secretary Ram Madhav said Imphal in that the BJP has the numbers to form a government.

BJP had won 21 seats in Manipur, seven less than the Congress's tally. The party, however, got the support of the National Peoples' Party and the Naga People's Front, both which won four seats each in the 2017 Assembly election. The BJP also has the support of the Lok Janshakti Party's one MLA.

As well, one Congress MLA has defected to the BJP, but the his party has said he was abducted. And what's more, sources said over half a dozen more Congress MLAs are ready to switch over to the saffron party. The MLAs are in talks with the state BJP.

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Manipur: Over 6 Congress MLAs ready to switch to BJP, say sources